The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

Juniors Lucas Saab (left) and Eunchong Lee cut out cardboard for their Advanced Placement Environmental Science class in Room 112 on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Students were doing this to examine with a microscope the cardboard and how it catches air particulates.
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Section editors of the 2022-2023 school year work on newspaper layouts in  The Accolade  room after school. This was a recurring daily routine during the week that print issues were released.
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Girls tennis player junior Daniela Borruel (center) received her certificate of recognition alongside her two Sunny Hills classmates, who were also in attendance to receive their own certificates for being Adopt-A-Park volunteers, from the Fullerton City Council in City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
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COVID-19 makes first year of high school more difficult

In+front+of+a+backdrop+marred+by+a+pandemic+and+political+turmoil%2C+some+of+Sunny+Hills+newest+class+of+freshmen+have+struggled+to+adapt.+
Karen Lee
In front of a backdrop marred by a pandemic and political turmoil, some of Sunny Hills’ newest class of freshmen have struggled to adapt.

Names have been changed for anonymity.

With the arrival of the holiday season comes the cheerful atmosphere of festivities like shopping for gifts, decorating Christmas trees or baking holiday treats.

Many express their excitement for the upcoming celebrations on Dec. 25 — a day bound to be full of family, food and happiness.

However, some lie at the opposite end of the spectrum; one that is not addressed nearly enough.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on their mental health, and this holiday season may end up triggering several problems for individuals struggling with stability.

Although freshman Jane Smith was diagnosed with depression in late 2019 before the March 2020 shutdown of schools and non-essential businesses, the COVID-19 crisis didn’t help ease her mental well-being.

“Quarantine has affected my mental health in both a positive and negative way,” Smith said. “But staying with your family 24/7 is not very fun, especially when you have an overbearing parent [who] thinks mental illnesses are just a thing of the moment and will go away soon enough.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, the pandemic has elevated stress and anxiety among both children and adults, and more than a quarter of surveyors have reported trauma and stressor-related disorder symptoms related to COVID-19.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried,” another anonymous freshman source said. “My coping mechanisms are limited, but I’m thankful for such supportive people around me.”

AP Psychology and AP U.S. History teacher Greg Abbott agrees that the struggles of the pandemic may contribute to diminishing mental health, stating that teaching in real life is more preferred than distance learning.

“I have been impressed with the resiliency of my students,” Abbott said. “To handle this new reality we find ourselves in, we all will have to find comfort and stability in this world that is amazing in so many ways but destabilizing all the while.”

This story also appeared in the Dec. 14 print issue, which can be read here.

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Hannah Lee, Web Managing Editor
Senior Hannah Lee looks forward to her third and final year on The Accolade staff as the web managing editor. After serving as a copy editor and opinion editor in the past, Lee is excited to experiment with multimedia elements to broaden her journalistic skill set. Though she still enjoys designing print issue layouts for readers, Lee hopes to focus on helping maintain the online website this school year. Outside of The Accolade, Lee is involved with several school clubs, such as UNICEF and Science Olympiad. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her older sister, Vivian.
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